“Hay Salamat!” exclaimed Pinky (not her true name) after hearing the words, “Good morning ma’am? Unsay among ikatabang nimo mam?” from the other side of the line. Pinky was calling the numbers she chanced upon while browsing a social media platform that offers free online consultation.

For the past two months, Pinky has been experiencing sleepless nights and relentless worries due to the thought of not being able to go back to work and consequently of the possibility of not returning to her job after the Philippine government imposed community quarantine measures in response to the threat posed by the coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19) pandemic.

While trying to relieve her stress Pinky was left browsing social media in an attempt to find ideas how to find new means of earning money but only to find out that she will be more stressed with fake news, with the continued spread of covid-19, the problems encountered by both government agencies and most importantly the public in the implementation of measures defeat the pandemic in the Philippines. Until by accident she saw a shared post about a group of health care professionals giving free consultation.

This is the National Free Online Medical Consultation spearheaded by the Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA) and its partners from Association of Medical Students of Asia, Global Health Pharmacy and Brokenshire College of Pharmacy. The said free consultation is an effort to reach out to people like Pinky that they hope will help make them feel better by just listening to them and giving advice to them.

AMDA is an international organization dedicated to the realization of a peaceful world community through humanitarian efforts in the medical health care sector. It was founded in Okayama City, Japan in 1984 and is a non-governmental, non-profit organization with an international network of 30 chapters and 47 collaborating organizations around the world. It provides emergency medical aid to people affected by natural as well as man-made disasters. With its special strength in the medical and health sectors, AMDA also implements mid-to-long-term social development projects helping people in their community-building process.

AMDA believes that such an initiative, even as it is simply in line with their mission of service to the Filipino people, is their way assuming the role they are capable of as experts or professionals in the health care sector to provide services to the general public in order to fill the gap created under restrictions imposed during community quarantine, in this time of world crisis and struggle against the pandemic.

Through the National Online Free Medical Consultation AMDA is able to establish a virtual connection between patients and health care professionals even when they are in their respective homes or remotely working elsewhere. The volunteer health care professional as in regular face to face consultations with patients talk and give advice to them whether covid-19 related or not.

This free online consultation provides services that include psychological counseling, medication review, and other relevant health information with more than a hundred volunteer general practitioners and specialist doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and other medical professionals ready to give their precious time to another precious life looking for someone to talk to about their problems.

So as the case of Pinky where she seemed to find nothing around her resources to help her out with her problems as with other people out there. So when distressed Pinky called the numbers of medical volunteers provided her something any other life on earth would definitely need this time – someone who listens, and a voice that would give her hope.(davaotoday.com)

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